Reboot Podcast Episode Extras #13 – Navigating High Conflict Personalities – with Megan Hunter

The Reboot podcast showcases the heart and soul, the wins and losses, the ups and downs of startup leadership. On the show, Entrepreneurs, CEO’s, and Startup Leaders discuss with Jerry Colonna the emotional and psychological challenges they face daily as leaders.


Megan Hunter

Megan Hunter

Co-founder of the High Conflict Institute

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Episode Description

Have you ever encountered a person in your life who you couldn’t reason with the same way you could with so many others in your life? Are there some folks that make you act differently, or feel like you walk on eggshells around them?

In this podcast, Ali sits down with Megan Hunter, a co-founder of The High Conflict Institute and expert on High Conflict Personalities (also known as HCPs). The pair discuss the five types of HCPs and explore how the HCP brain works differently (and what that means for interactions with them). Megan describes what to do if you find yourself as a Target of Blame and shares tools and approaches for navigating these personalities, as well as what not to do.

Show Highlights

Top Quotes:

“90% of people would not behave in the ways that people with high conflict personalities do.” – Megan Hunter

“What’s important about our work at High Conflict Institute is that we really focus on the, let’s say 10 to 15, maybe 20% of the population who have a different operating system. And so we can’t work with them the same way we do with everyone else. We keep trying to work with them that way, but we run into a lot of problems because we just don’t know the rules of their operating system. And once we do, then we can have some success.” – Megan Hunter

“An extraordinarily high conflict person is very disruptive and some are quite destructive.” – Megan Hunter

“HCPs will tell you who they are if you’re listening. If you’re paying attention.” – Megan Hunter

“HCPs focus on the target of blame. The high conflict personality, they feel wronged a lot. And they feel that it comes from someone outside of them. They don’t realize that this is their own internal distress.” – Megan Hunter

“We think of the term high conflict personality as something that comes to us kind of ugly, but a lot of times it presents first with charm.” – Megan Hunter

“Our ability to stay in our wise adult self and to not get emotionally hooked takes work in and of itself. Once we see what we’re up against and we’re able to take that stance, and we’re able to stay with ourselves, we’re able to stay so much more clear about what, what is their desired outcome here and, and what really needs to happen.” – Ali Schultz

“Many people believe that this person knows what they’re doing. They absolutely don’t, this is their operating system. It’s been developing their entire life. It feels very normal and natural and necessary for them, they’re kind of in fight or flight.” – Megan Hunter

“HCPs need those around them to set limits and have boundaries more than anyone in the world, and yet they’re the people we set the least limits with because we’re walking on eggshells around them.” – Megan Hunter